Frank, with his horses.
Frank is another set of eyes, checking on my fall-calving cowherd. He lives in the house which is situated near the middle of my rented pasture.
His yard protrudes into and is surrounded by the pasture on three sides. When he has his morning coffee on the front porch, he is checking my cows.
For me to check my cows, it’s a mile ATV ride. And if I get there at the wrong time, and they’ve gone into the woods for shade, I’m out of luck.
One day in August I only counted eleven cows. The next day the same cow was missing. I asked Frank to keep an eye out for her.
I started walking the woods looking for her. The woods is a jungle, pictured below. I realized, crawling under Multiflora Rose brambles, that the cows hadn’t even explored the whole woods.
I spent two days combing the woods looking for the missing cow. Frank rode his horse where he could, looking for the missing cow. I started using my nose, figuring the stench from a decaying animal would lead me to her.
On the fifth day, 949 nonchalantly walked out of the woods with a little black calf and rejoined the herd. At that point, I realized I can’t micromanage. Frank and I just count. We’re at seven black calves now.